— Sumayya Vally, curator
DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA, October 17, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Created in 2020 by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, the Diriyah Biennale Foundation (DBF) will host a biennale each year, alternating between the Biennale of Contemporary Art to be held in Diriyah and the Biennale of Islamic Arts to be held in Jeddah. DBF launched Saudi Arabia’s first-ever art biennale, the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, from December 2021 to March 2022 in the JAX district of Diriyah.
DBF is proud to announce the participating artists and highlight the range of historical artifacts on loan from the institutions at the inaugural Biennial of Islamic Arts to be held at the iconic Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah from January 23 to April 23, 2023.
Led by a team of renowned curators Sumayya Vally, Dr Julian Raby, Dr Saad Alrashid and Dr Omniya Abdel Barr under the theme of Awwal Bait (translated as First House), the Biennale invites visitors to embark on a multi-sensory journey guided by a unprecedented interaction of commissions for contemporary works of art and important historical objects, skilfully designed together thanks to a scenography designed by the prestigious architecture studio OMA.
Commenting on this seminal moment in Saudi Arabia’s cultural history, Farida Alhusseini, Director of the Islamic Arts Biennale, said: “With the inauguration of the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah, we look forward to the future Islamic arts, while reflecting on its rich and diverse past. . By linking craft and academia with ongoing practices of art and creativity, we hope that this edition, and future editions to come, will create space for new perspectives to be expressed and unexpected connections to inspire and generate meaning.
Reflecting on the central place of the Ka’bah in the lives of Muslims around the world and offering a multidisciplinary celebration of what it means to be a Muslim, both past and present, the theme of Awwal Bait unfolds in two complementary sections; Qiblah (Sacred Direction) intricately revealed in the galleries and Hijrah (Migration), which is embodied in the large-scale outdoor installations under the Hajj Terminal’s iconic canopy.
The participating artists, along with others to be revealed, are as follows: (listed alphabetically by last name):
Reem Al Faisal
Adel Al Quraishi
Noura Al Sayeh
Nasser Al Salem
Sultan Bin Fahad
DAL – Digital Arts Laboratory
Ziad Jamaleddine / LEFT Architects
Tied to the studio
Ayman Yossri Daydban
The world’s first Biennial of Islamic Arts will be held under the glass roof of the prestigious Western Hajj Terminal, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1981 and received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983. There will also be a purpose-built venue of 70,000 square meters with facilities to include exhibition spaces, a theatre, a mosque, workshops and classrooms dedicated to programming, as well as retail and restaurants.
This new venue has been made possible through cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and relevant entities as a means of consolidating the position of the Hajj Terminal as a hub for celebrating Islamic arts and culture.
Created in 2020 by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, the Diriyah Biennale Foundation (DBF) will host a biennial each year, alternating between the Biennial of Contemporary Art and the Biennial of Islamic Arts. DBF developed Saudi Arabia’s first-ever art biennale, the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, held from December 2021 to March 2022 in the JAX district of Diriyah; and a second biennial inaugurated in 2023 will be devoted to Islamic arts. The Contemporary Art Biennale was one of Saudi Arabia’s largest and most important international contemporary art exhibitions to date, providing a platform for discovery and connection to the cultural scene and creative communities from Saudi Arabia.
DBF’s mission in creating the first Biennial of Islamic Arts is to celebrate and enrich cultural and artistic exchanges between Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, and Muslim communities around the world.
Ministry of Culture